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A prolific and highly popular novelist and essayist, author of some 20 titles. He won his instant nationwide fame with his novel Danilov: The Violist (1980) and his equally successful The Apothecary (1988) both written in the manner of magic realism, obviously influenced by Bulgakov and Gogol. Both novels were so funny, thought-provoking, and cleverly written that they soon became cult books and a must for all Russian intellectuals.

Danilov: The Violist, a novel
published in Russian in 1980, came out in English (W. Morrow) in 1987 followed by editions in many other languages. Its main theme is the devilish origin of a genius. Danilov is a virtuoso violist, the son of a peasant woman and the Devil, a half-demon who falls in love with the Earth and the earthly woman Natasha. For the sake of his love Danilov severs all ties with the Devil and rejects the satanic power of his viola which he received as a gift from the Rulers of the Nine Circles. Amazingly for him, his musical gift does not disappear but becomes more human and moving and this signifies the victory of humanity in a person over the Devil’s magic. The author examines the conflict between people’s creative, lofty natures and their lowly consumerism.
“Ironic and often funny…” – Publishers Weekly
“Orlov has written a generally engaging novel that satirizes human behavior, individual and bureaucratic.” – Library Journal

The Apothecary, a novel
A modest apothecary and his two boon companions in a beer pub open an ordinary-looking bottle of beer from which a magic woman suddenly emerges, introducing herself as their keeper. From then on she accompanies them in various guises creating all sorts of embarrassing situations for them. In the end, it becomes clear that humans need no help from supernatural forces to be successful in life and help people. The apothecary has been willingly bringing relief and advice to all those who came to him with their problems and pains.